Neil Gaiman's speech to the graduates of the University of of the Arts in Philadelphia has been circulating around the internet. And rightly so. Do give it a listen, if you've got a moment. All good stuff.
What got me thinking, was when he spoke about finding your voice:
"write ... as only you can, the moment that you feel, that just possibly, you're walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself that's the moment when you might be starting to get it right."
Things that tend to snag my attention are things that I don't do. I don't feel at all that I'm showing too much of myself. I think of my stories as intellectual puzzles. I'm very interested in emotion and character but my characters are always very definitely not me. If anything I feel they are a conversation between me and ideas I've picked up along my way.
No doubt, every word, every character arc, every happy ending, is revealing a lot about me--eek. But I don't feel they are me. And of course, every writer is different and has their own process.
But food for thought. Do you feel this way about your stories? Do they expose the heart of you? How can I use Gaiman's advice to write better stories?